Eight patent applications filed last fall by Sony have fueled speculation that a dual-screen device with a two-finger trackpad is just around the corner.
Filed by the Sony Computer Entertainment of America back in October 2009 and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, some of the patents reference a “handheld device with two-finger touch triggered selection,” others refer to a “predictive layout” screen, and most claim the possibility of a dual-screen device where the touchpad is separate from the main screen.
As expected after every publicized patent application, the blogosphere is rife with speculation. Most predict a PSP2 with a touch-screen on its rear, based on recently leaked photos. PCMag’s Gearlog said a dual-screen and two-fingered trackpad could also be applied to the rumored PlayStation Phone.
Whatever device adopted, Sony said such an invention is necessary to allow for more “active touching,” for lack of a better phrase. Separating the touchpad from the visual display would let users control the display without interfering with what is shown on the screen.
“Prior art solutions include the use of a touch screen as the visual display and software that allows the user to select the portion of the display to be magnified with his fingers or a stylus,” one patent application reads. “Unfortunately, because the screen is small, the user’s fingers often obscure the part that is to be selected making selection difficult.”